Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
How to Cite
Brang, D. 2010. Synesthesia. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1.
- Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Synesthesia is a perceptual experience in which a stimulus presented through one modality (e.g., hearing) will spontaneously evoke a sensation experienced in an unrelated modality (e.g., vision). For example, an individual may experience a specific color for every given note (e.g., C sharp is red) or every number may be tinged with a specific hue (e.g., five is indigo and seven is green). Although synesthesia can occur in response to drugs (LSD, mescaline, peyote), sensory deprivation, or, in rare cases, brain damage, research has largely focused on individuals with the heritable trait of developmental synesthesia. Synesthesia has no known association with any disorder or condition, and research suggests a higher occurrence among artists and musicians. Furthermore, synesthetes will often lament the loss of these experiences that sometimes occurs because of depression or the use of antidepressants.